Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
The People first mentioned the relationship in Britain
Although foreign media speculated on Margaret and Townsend's relationship, the British press did not. After reporters saw her plucking fluff from his coat during the coronation on 2 June 1953—"I never thought a thing about it, and neither did Margaret", Townsend later said; "After that, the storm broke"—The People first mentioned the relationship in Britain on 14 June. With the headline "They Must Deny it NOW", the front-page article warned that "scandalous rumors about Princess Margaret are racing around the world", which the newspaper stated were "of course, utterly untrue". The foreign press believed that the Regency Act 1953—which made Prince Philip, the Queen's husband, regent instead of Margaret on the Queen's death—was enacted to allow the princess to marry Townsend, but as late as 23 July most other British newspapers except the Daily Mirror did not discuss the rumors. Acting Prime Minister Rab Butler asked that "deplorable speculation" end, without mentioning Margaret or Townsend.